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Elite boxers: What are the benefits of long distance running?

Even people who don’t really follow the sport of boxing know that fighters often prepare for their next bout by doing some long distance running, as Rocky Balboa famously does in the movies.

But, why do boxers do a lot of long distance running in the build-up to a fight? Here, in this fitness explainer, we take a look.

Why is long distance running good for boxers?

Logically, one of the main benefits of long distance running is to build cardiovascular endurance.

That is true for anyone and the same goes for boxers, who need to have physical endurance and stamina before they can even think about going 12 rounds.

But, there are other benefits too which are more specific to the challenges faced by a boxer.

For example, long distance running can help correct any muscular asymmetry and imbalance that a fighter may have developed due to boxing.

Long runs also help with flexibility and they can even help prevent injuries, which is obviously a really important thing for any boxer with a fight coming up.

Another reason why boxers may be seen embarking on long distance runs more than other athletes is the fact that they need to hit a certain weight target in this sport.

Long distance running can be a good way to lose weight and that’s why a boxer may do a lot of running in the build-up to the weigh-in.

How far should a boxer run per day?

The top boxers each have their own preferences and routines when it comes to long distance running, but almost all agree that it is something that should be done once a day.

Floyd Mayweather reportedly ran six to eight miles per day ahead of a fight, while some others would do double that, such as Lamont Peterson.

It’s about trying different distances out with your coach and working out what’s right for you.

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